Ekadashi – The Day of Fasting
The traditional system of Ekadashi vrata is to fast and stay awake all night chanting the Lord’s glories. Need to take only one simple meal before nightfall on Dasami (the day before Ekadashi), and a similar simple meal on Dvadasi (the day after Ekadashi )
Ekadasi means a change of diet. Many of them hardly even notice Ekadashi coming and going. But Ekadashi observance means more than refraining from eating grains. The traditional system of Ekadashi vrata is to fast and stay awake all night chanting the Lord’s glories. Need to take only one simple meal before nightfall on Dasami (the day before Ekadasi), and a similar simple meal on Dvadasi (the day after Ekadashi. In Brahma-vaivarta Purana it is said that one who observes fasting on Ekadashi day is freed from all kinds of reactions to sinful activities and advances in pious life. The basic principle is not only just to fast, but to increase one’s faith and love towards Govinda or Krishna.
The true reason for observing fasting on Ekadashi is to minimize the demands of the body and to engage our time in the service of the Lord by chanting or performing the similar service. Ekadashi means that, fasting and chanting. On the Ekadashi day can be seen as an austerity – not eating grains or not using your favorite spices; it is like the poison which turns out to be nectar. The tongue is the most voracious and difficult one to control of all the five senses but Krishna send’s his Prasad just to help us conquer this fickle friend
There are two Ekadasi days for each month and they are astronomically calculated according to the Moon. The word Ekadashi literally means the eleventh day, eka (one) + das (ten) = eleven. So an Ekadashi generally falls eleven days after a full Moon and eleven days after a new Moon. But there are sometimes exceptions to the rule.
Actually, on Ekadashi day we should not take any food or even drink water. But in this Society we are not observing it so strictly. We say that on Ekadasi you should not take any food grains but you may take a little fruit and milk. This is like a tapasya.
Whichever day the fast takes place one should fast from Sunrise to Sunrise. It’s good practice to abstain from the grains the previous evening so there will not be grain in your system the following morning. Throughout the day of fasting however, by concentrating the focus of our activities on Ekadashi the charming paramour known as Krishna will be most pleased.
His divine consort Srimati Radharani hearing of our endeavour will indubitably bestow her merciful glance upon us in the form of seva-bhavana As fire can immediately burn a great pile of cotton, so even just one Ekadashi can burn the great Mount Meru of sins accumulated over one hundred births. Medically to fast a day once a week or a fortnight and start next day with liquid are said to be extremely good for health, body and mind. The energy of the whole body system gets distributed equally if a particular limb is not given any inordinate work. So, when you fast the energy is equally distributed as the digestive function will not be there.
PN:- The Date and Time of the event is given as per the Bharathiar Panchang. Contact your local temple / prohit for exact timing in your place as some times, the time of the celebration may change depending upon which part of the world you live in.